Thabo Bester pleaded for his life after he was arrested by authorities in Tanzania.

It was the 13th of April 2023, exactly a year today that a manhunt by law enforcement saw the return of South Africa’s most wanted fugitives, convicted Facebook rapist and murderer Thabo Bester and his girlfriend Nandipha Magudumana back to South Africa.

The story of Bester and Magudumana gripped South Africa and the world keeping South Africans on the edge of their seats.

Bester and Magudumana were brought back from Tanzania following his elaborate escape from the Mangaung Prison in the Free State.

Watch Thabo Bester and Nandipha Magudumana’s return to SA

The duo were arrested in Arusha, just 10km from the Kenyan border with several passports containing multiple identities – in their possession.

The duo, along with seven others implicated in the escape are facing a raft of charges including fraud, corruption, violation of a corpse and arson.

They are expected back in court on 5th June.

ALSO READ: Thabo Bester: ‘Dr Nandipha said she was being held against her will’

Forced to leave SA

The Citizen last year revealed that Magudumana initially told Tanzanian authorities that she was being held against her will by Bester.

“She was being held against her will by him. That was her response in her initial arrest questions, that’s what she said,” a source told The Citizen.

Magudumana later made the same claim in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court during her bail application, revealing that she was forced to leave the country by Bester against her will.

“On or about the 17th of March 2023 I was in the company of accused number five (Bester). I was instructed and commanded by accuse number five to get into the vehicle and leave the premises to a destination unknown to me at the time.

“I refused and wanted an explanation but he forced me into a vehicle and I succumbed to pressure due to the threats he directed at me. I was defenceless, helpless and had no one to report to at the time,” Magudumana said in her affidavit read out by her lawyer Frans Dlamini.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Nandipha Magudumana breaks down in court, claims she was ‘forced to leave SA’


Magudumana claimed she complied with Bester’s alleged demands.

“I complied with his instructions and was taken out of the country against my will. At all material times, I had no control over the situation because of the threats made by accused number five.

“I submit that I made did not voluntarily depart from the Republic of South Africa as the most dreaded. In any event, I had no reason to leave South Africa,” Magudumana said in her affidavit.

Following their arrival in South Africa, Police Minister Bheki Cele said Magudumana was “very cooperative”, but not Bester.

“We know that the good doctor (Magudumana) cooperated on the other side. We know that the good doctor’s customary husband (Bester) did not cooperate,” said Cele.

Fake death

Bester, faked his own death with Magudumana’s help to facilitate the audacious break from the Mangaung Correctional Centre

However, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), which originally declared him dead, confirmed that the charred body found in his cell was not that of Bester, who was convicted in 2012 of rape and murder.

The Facebook rapist appeared to be the senior figure in a elaborate prison syndicate that allegedly ran drug, money laundering, and sex operations behind bars.

ALSO READ: ‘Tracking Thabo Bester’ doccie racks up record views after court battle

Tracking Thabo Bester

Earlier this month, the Johannesburg High Court dismissed Bester and Magudumana’s application to interdict the broadcast of the Tracking Thabo Bester documentary.

Bester and Magudumana, each approached the high court to stop the documentary from airing.

In his ruling, Judge Stuart Wilson presiding over the matter said Bester and Magudumana had shown no legal basis for their application.

Bester was the most searched person in South Africa on Google in 2023, with his co-accused Magudumana just behind in fourth place, as the whole country obsessed over their stormy tale of love, murder, corruption and deception.

NOW READ: Thabo Bester ‘begged’ for his life after being arrested by Tanzanian authorities


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